Evidently the linden tree also has that seminal smell:
A reader expands on yesterday’s popular post:
I used to do chemical analyses of the fragrances of plants, especially orchids. Flowers that smell like semen are not uncommon. Basic amines such as putrescine, spermine, spermidine and cadaverine are probably components of such floral fragrances. Chestnut flowers (Castanea sativa) are notoriously semen-like, and I once saw a pressed museum specimen of a Trillium that stated the flower smelled “like freshly-collected bull semen”. Several species of the Asian orchid genus Coelogyne are powerfully fragrant of fresh semen.
Years ago, a gay friend in Atlanta with a diverse orchid collection was giving a greenhouse tour to an elderly woman in her early nineties. Moving unsteadily through the greenhouse, she paused in front of a large basket of blooming Coelogyne trinervis that filled the whole house with its odor. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, and exclaimed “Oh, my, my…. I know I’ve smelled that fragrance somewhere before…. I just can’t put my finger on it…. Somethin’ about it reminds me of my first husband…”. Unlike the fragrance of Proust’s madeleines, the orchid fragrance was not successful in triggering her old memories, even though she returned to the topic throughout the afternoon.